Jenny & Michael strive to always be in the moment with one another and create special memories each day. We agreed on our honeymoon that every time we hear the song that Jenny walked down the aisle to (a song by a group called Band of Horses) that we would stop what we were doing and slow dance to that song.
It’s been nearly 10 years and we have stayed committed! Every now and then one of us will turn that song on and we’ll both drop everything and dance together, remembering what’s most important for a few minutes in the day. And we still love that song :)
|Gender:||Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child|
|Ethnicities:||Any Race and Ethnicity|
|Age:||Newborn to 12 Months|
|Total of:||1 to 3 Children|
|We Live In:||Grand Rapids|
|Pets:||Both Cat(s) and Dog(s)|
|Kids Already:||One Child Now|
|Child Care:||Licensed Child Care Home,|
One of the reasons we think we work so well together as a couple is our balance of skills. We are very different people but love how we balance each other out. What Michael may lack, Jenny is good at and vice versa! We read each other well and always strive to be honest with each other.
We try to always use kind words with one another and we treat our relationship with respect and care. We laugh a lot together, too. Michael is constantly cracking Jenny up! We are always trying to visit new places, have new experiences, and learn new things to share with one another.
We met during a job interview at Michigan State University in 2008 and started dating after a friend found a way to get us both at the same Halloween party. We went on our first date the very next day and have been together ever since! We were married in October of 2011 in Grand Rapids and have lived here since outside of a 2-year stint where we lived in Detroit.
Our shared love of music has always been at the core of our relationship. We always have music playing in the house and we love going to concerts! We are always introducing each other to new music and share a text chain with Jenny’s father and brother where we share newly-discovered songs we want each other to hear. We even document our favorite songs of each year in a playlist we call “The Big Idea.” We collect vinyl records and dance a lot in our sun room.
We also love to travel together, whether it’s weekend getaways, camping trips around Michigan or even traveling across the country. New Orleans has a special place in our hearts because we traveled there shortly after becoming engaged, and we love Maine too, which was where we spent our honeymoon.
We are also lucky to have been able to travel to a number of other countries together including Sweden, India, and Nepal. In the coming years we would ideally like to see Iceland, Italy, Japan and a number of other countries. We hope to see all 7 “New Wonders of the World” in our lives and have already been able to see the Taj Mahal on our India trip. We hope to instill in our child a love for travel and adventure.
Now that we have Oliver, our son, in our lives; travel has slowed a bit but we can’t wait to have Oliver and our future adoptive son or daughter along for future trips once they are grown a bit more.
Both Jenny & Michael enjoy getting outside whether that is just riding their bicycles around Grand Rapids or traveling up north for hiking & camping in the Upper Peninsula. Jenny enjoys running and she can even convince Michael to do a 5K with her every now and then.
We also love going to concerts and we try to always buy a vinyl record to remember the experience. We like to travel around to different breweries and wineries all over Michigan but especially in the Traverse City & Petoskey areas.
We always like the calm night at home with a bonfire, too and often read, watch movies, or paint. Michael enjoys wood-working and has made a few of the pieces of furniture we have in our house including our dining room table and the table we keep our vinyl records and turntable in. Jenny likes reading, as all librarians do, as well as cooking and vegetable gardening.
Jenny’s father and stepmother live in Caledonia, MI and we see them just about every week, which is wonderful! Both Jenny and Michael are very close with Jenny’s father. Jenny’s mother lives in Lansing, MI and visits at least once or twice a month. Jenny’s brother, Jason, lives in Seattle so we have fun visiting him once a year or so and he occasionally travels home to see us.
Jenny speaks with her immediate family by phone often and all relationships are loving and positive. Jenny also has three stepbrothers and twin babies were just born into the family this year so we’re excited to have cousins for Oliver and our future adopted child.
Michael’s mother and father live in Columbus, IN which is about five hours south of Grand Rapids, but we are always making time to see them. We try to see each other about every other month for at least a weekend and often during holidays.
Michael’s older sister and her family (husband and 3 children) live in Oxford, MI on the east side of the state and we see them a few times each year. His younger sister, Diana, and her husband live in Austin, TX which is a very fun place to visit. With their family ties in Michigan, we get to see them at least once or twice each year and talk with them each week or so.
Jenny’s best friends, Ashley and Heather, live in Madison and Ellsworth, WI respectively with their husbands and babies. Both Heather and Ashley have young daughters born in the last two years and are going to make great aunts to baby!
Michael’s friend group is large and dispersed between Lansing, MI, Chicago, IL, St. Louis, MO & Indianapolis, IN. He has 14 friends who he went to college with who remain close and even travel to see each other somewhere in the country for one weekend each year.
They have an ongoing Google Hangout chat group going and are always talking to each other every day. We are so lucky that baby will have so many loving uncles around!
We live just north of downtown Grand Rapids, MI and we love our neighborhood! There is a large park just two blocks away and lots of playgrounds nearby that we are excited to bring our kids to.
Our neighborhood is perfect for riding bikes around and we have a number of restaurants within walking distance. We have an adorable three-bedroom home that we’ve put a lot of work into and we take great pride in.
Our future plans might include moving to a home located on a river or a lake someday – that’s a dream of ours. We have no current plans to sell our home or move from Grand Rapids. We really love this city and love being close to family.
Simply put, education is everything. Jenny and Michael both have post-graduate degrees and our formal educations have provided us careers that we both truly love. We look forward to helping guide our child toward educational experiences and institutions that will help them understand and achieve their passions.
Discipline is critical to the positive development of a child but it must be used with love and patience. Discipline should be a means of guiding a child’s thinking about various topics and parents should always be listening to their children to understand how they are observing their world.
By providing guidance to your child about the decisions they make, both right and wrong, you help nurture autonomy, strength and independence, while still providing safe boundaries. Very rarely should you resort to taking things away from your child (definition of “punishment”) and we do not believe that physical punishment or spanking is ever warranted.
We are very spiritual people who seek to be a positive light in the world and to the people around us. We identify best with “Universalism” today but both Michael and Jenny were raised Christian and believe that ultimately all religions can bring people closer to God and closer to one another.
Michael & Jenny attend Christian churches with family and also have gone on spiritual journeys to India & Nepal to observe Buddhism and Hinduism in their native lands. Michael & Jenny both meditate and seek to be positive energies in the world and to those around them. We are excited to introduce our children to Christianity and many other religious teachings as a means of giving them the autonomy to explore their own ideas and beliefs further.
The furniture industry is a fun and creative world where we truly go to work to make people’s lives better day-to-day. I have the pleasure of directing the sales strategy for Michigan and Indiana while coaching 7 individuals toward greater success. Being a sports fan my entire life, it’s no wonder I thrive in a competitive environment where strategy and team work drive group success.
Both Michael & Jenny plan to continue working as Michael’s employer offers great benefits packages that include child care close to their places of work.
Jenny is a Children’s Librarian in Grand Rapids and she greatly enjoys working with kids every day. From storytime to school visits, she has the best job in the world.
Jenny works part time just three days a week in order to be at home part time with our son and would continue this for our future adoptive son or daughter.
We’d like you to know first and foremost that we’re best friends and that your child would be entering a home with a stable foundation built on a great love. We’ve had 9 incredible married years of learning and growing together as people and we’re excited and prepared for this next chapter of our journey together. And little Oliver can’t wait to have a brother or sister!
You should know that our home is filled with laughter and music and our future child will be surrounded with great joy and lots of dance parties in the kitchen.
We love art and museums and culture, and we hope to continuously learn about the world around us right alongside of our children as they grow and mature and explore the world.
We go sledding every winter (even as grown adults) and we go to water parks every summer (even as grown adults). Oliver even ventured out with us for a sledding day this winter (OK, so he didn’t actually sled but he watched from his carrier!) and we look forward to our children being a part of these kinds of fun events in the future.
You should also know that Jenny as a children’s librarian will surround that future child with millions of books all the time, and that reading stories before bedtime will likely be mandatory. Likewise, Michael will attend every single sporting event our child ever participates in, just like his mother did for him when he was a child. Seriously, she didn’t miss a single game!
There are so many more things that we could tell you about ourselves but ultimately, we just want you to trust that we care about you and we’d love to meet you if you think it’s right. We’re passionate about open adoption and we’re anxious to join our families together. Thanks for taking the time to read this and know that you are in our hearts.